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REPOST - Big Agnes King Solomon Bag - Katy Welter

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  • Katy Welter
    Here s the latest edit, and a link to html (below). Kompozer worked great--thanks! I included some photos of my dog, Scout, with the King Solomon. Any photos
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 20, 2010
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      Here's the latest edit, and a link to html (below). Kompozer worked
      great--thanks! I included some photos of my dog, Scout, with the King
      Solomon. Any photos of the bag in use while camping aren't very
      informative. Hope these work. Thanks again!

      Katy

      http://bit.ly/cCKQKT



      BIG AGNES -- King SOLOMON 15 DEGREE �DOUBLEWIDE� SLEEPING BAG

      By Katy Welter

      Date: April 12, 2010

      Owner Review

      Name: Katy Welter
      Age: 28
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
      Weight: 135 lb (61 kg)
      Email address: kwelterATuchicagoDOTedu
      City, State, Country: Chicago, Illinois USA

      Backpacking Background:

      I became an enthusiastic backcountry backpacker after taking a 70-day
      Rocky Mountain National Outdoor Leadership School course in 2007. My
      husband and I camp about 20-30 nights per year. My backpacking style
      is lightweight (typical pack weight under 40 lbs for a week-long hike)
      and I use an ultralight 3-season tent for shelter. Food is my heaviest
      item; I love backcountry cooking! My husband and I typically do 3-5
      day hikes, but have completed several longer treks, including the
      Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii, and the
      Overland Track in Tasmania.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION (per bigagnes.com)

      Manufacturer: Big Agnes
      Year of Manufacture: 2007
      Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bigagnes.com
      MSRP: $329.95 US

      Listed Weight: 5 lb 3 oz (2.35 kg)
      Measured Weight: 5 lb 4 oz (2.38 kg)

      Height Accommodated: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
      Our heights:
      5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
      5 ft 10 in (178 cm)

      We both prefer cold sleeping weather (we crack a window in our bedroom
      during Chicago winters!).

      Materials:
      Shell: Down proof, nylon microfiber rip-stop. Water repellant surface
      treatment.
      Lining: Soft, breathable down proof nylon with stain resistant finish
      Pad sleeve: Nylon rip-stop. Water repellant surface treatment

      Specifications per Big Agnes website:
      Fill Weight 2 lb 4 oz (1 kg)
      Shoulder Girth 110 in (279 cm)
      Hip Girth 96 in (244 cm)
      Foot Girth 80 in (203 cm)
      Stuff Sack Size XL-10 in x 21in (25 x 53 cm)

      Actual measurements (by owner):
      Length from toe to shoulder (head opening): 66 in (168 cm)
      Width at widest point (slightly below shoulders): 48 in (122 cm)
      Width at narrowest point (foot box--square, not �mummy� shaped): 45 in
      (114 cm)
      Width of head opening when fully zipped (but not cinched): 31 in (79 cm)

      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION (by owner)

      The Big Agnes King Solomon is a two-person, down-filled, roomy 15-
      degree sleeping bag. It has two zippers--one on each side--for handy
      in-and-out. It also has draft doggies blocking zipper draft along each
      side, as well as individual draft collars. There�s even a draft �flap�
      that fills the space between two people�s heads, which I can pack away
      handily in a little pocket with hook-and-loop closure. It also has
      toggles to cinch the bag opening, making for an even toastier sleep.
      The King Solomon also has a couple of signature Big Agnes features on
      the underside: no insulation, and two slots for holding standard 20�
      width sleeping pads. These slots don�t require Big Agnes brand pads:
      we use REI and Therm-a-Rest brand 3/4 length pads. The King Solomon
      also has built-in pillow pockets, but we usually just use our clothes
      stuff sack as a pillow.

      Since the King Solomon packs into a large mass (and even that, with
      some effort), we found that we need at least a 70 liter (4270 cu in)
      backpack (or a wide 60-65 L pack) to stuff it into. My Gregory Deva 60
      (circa 2005) can�t hold it without a serious workout. We use an attack/
      compression sack and don�t fully compress it because it takes a long
      time and effort to get that last inch of compression.


      FIELD TEST

      My husband and I purchased the Big Agnes King Solomon (or �Bagnes,� as
      we call her) 2 years ago because we wanted to sleep together when
      camping. Frankly, there aren�t many doublewide bags out there, let
      alone lightweight ones. We�d had great success with Big Agnes tents,
      so we decided to give the King Solomon (�King� from here) a try. We�ve
      used the King in countless environments because we took it with us on
      a 7-month backpacking trip in the Eastern Hemisphere. Counting this
      and many other backpacking trips, we�ve probably slept 150 nights in
      the King.

      We slept in the King in temperatures ranging from 0 F (-17 C) and 30
      mph (48 kph) wind at 17,000 feet (5180 meters) in Nepal in a drafty
      teahouse on a wood bed to 85 F (29 C) and high humidity in Thailand
      and Hawaii. Presumably because there were always two of us sharing the
      warmth, the King certainly seemed more like a 0-degree bag (or
      warmer!) than a 15. We often wished we had a 30-degree version of the
      bag because we were so warm (obviously it�s overkill for the tropics,
      but there are no lighter doublewides, to my knowledge). My husband
      slept in the King alone in 20-degree weather on snow in Colorado for
      about a week, and he reported that it was still warm, though he put
      his pack inside to fill some space.

      Our tent, a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2, is almost entirely mesh, and the
      King inevitably draws moisture from the walls because its footprint is
      the same as the SL2. When this happens, it can be annoying to pack a
      slightly wet bag, but the fabric dries quickly in the sun (we toss it
      on bushes and have never had a tear). We never noticed loss of warmth
      due to condensation issues, nor a significant weight gain.

      To clean the King, we have chosen to only wipe down the inside with a
      damp cloth and lay it outside on a dry, sunny day. That has proved
      very effective: the King looks great and has no unpleasant smell. When
      not in use, the King hangs in a closet, using the two loops on the
      outside of the bag's foot. The cleaning instructions on the tag say to
      be "extremely careful" and to consider using a specialist in cleaning
      down bags.

      In over 150 nights of use, I cannot think of one problem with the
      King. Considering we only carry one bag, it's a very reasonable weight
      (not ultralight, but the snuggle is worth any marginal extra weight).
      The sleeping pad slots on the back are extremely useful and have
      spoiled us. We�ve tried going back to the old method of putting the
      King on top of our pads, and even the slightest movement now annoys
      us. The absence of insulation on the back doesn�t seem to impair
      warmth at all, and makes me wonder why all bags aren�t made this way.
      Why waste the down and the weight?

      The only difficulty with the King is compressing it. It�s just so
      large that it can be difficult to force into even a large stuff sack.
      Inevitably air pockets get trapped in the sack during the process, and
      sometimes we have to pull out some of the King and then give it
      another try. This is not a tiny, ultralight, mummy sleeping bag. It�s
      more like a down comforter hiding in a backpacker-style bag. Though
      it�s bulky, it is unquestionably our favorite piece of gear. We strive
      for minimalism in other aspects of our packing to make up for the bulk
      and slightly higher weight.

      SUMMARY

      The Big Agnes King Solomon is one of the few backpacker-friendly two-
      person bags on the market. Fortunately, it�s a winner. The thoughtful
      details like two-sided access, draft tubes, draft collars, and
      sleeping bag slots make it warm and comfortable all night long. After
      over 150 nights of use, the King shows no signs of wear or loss of
      warmth, and continues to be my favorite piece of gear.

      PROS:

      No drafts, good access.

      Lightweight compared to other doublewides.

      Durable (over 150 nights of use with no visible wear).

      Handy sleeping pad slots.

      Roomy, even with two adults. Nice wide foot box.


      CONS:

      Bulky.

      Unexpectedly too warm, even in cold temps.





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